AEP to Advance 1.5 Gigawatts of Wind Projects Despite Texas Commission’s Denial

The Texas Public Utilities Commission rejected a plan by Southwestern Electric Power Co., a subsidiary of American Electric Power Company Inc., to add 309 megawatts of wind energy to serve Texas customers, according to a July 2 news release. Despite the denial, the company said it can move ahead with its planned acquisition of 1,485...

Virginia Regulator Approves Dominion Energy’s Renewable Energy Rate

The Virginia State Corporation Commission on July 2 approved Dominion Energy Inc.’s renewable energy rate, providing its customers the option to purchase 100 percent renewable-sourced electricity. As designed, the rate would charge a $3.98 premium per month besides the standard rate for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity on average, adding annual...

Court Strikes Down FERC’s Practice of Tolling Rehearing Requests in Pipeline Permitting Process

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on June 30 ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cannot indefinitely delay requests for rehearing of cases under the Natural Gas Act by issuing tolling orders, which extend the 30-day time period for the agency to act on the petitions. The 10-1 ruling concluded that...

Michigan Commission Rejects Enbridge’s Request for Relief on Pipeline Relocation Plan

The Michigan Public Service Commission on June 30 rejected Enbridge’s request for a declaratory ruling that it has authority to replace a pipeline segment under the Straits of Mackinac under a 1953 order approving the Line 5 pipeline. The commission found that the Line 5 project differs significantly from the pipeline approved in 1953. Different...

Trump Administration Releases Final Environmental Review to Expand Oil, Gas Development in Arctic Reserve

The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management on June 26 released the final environmental review for a new integrated activity plan for the 23-million acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The preferred  alternative would open as much as 18.7 million acres, or about 82 percent of the reserve, to oil and gas development, undoing Obama-era protections...

Massachusetts Expands Electric Vehicle Rebate Program

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources on June 25 announced the expansion of the Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles, or MOR-EV, initiative to include commercial and nonprofit fleets. Since 2014, the state has dedicated more than $31 million to incentivize the purchase of over 15,000 electric vehicles. Last December, the department extended the MOR-EV...

U.S. Energy Department Plans to Invest Over $120 Million to Facilitate Coal Products Innovation

The U.S. Energy Department on June 26 announced a plan to invest $122 million in building coal products innovation centers through a competitive process in multiple coal producing basins. The move aims to sustain the domestic supply chain of carbon ore, rare earths and critical minerals, and produce value-added and innovative coal products to the...

California Adopts Zero-Emission Truck Rule to Advance Climate Goals

The California Air Resources Board on June 25 adopted a rule requiring a transition from diesel trucks and vans to electric trucks from 2024. The first-in-the nation standard requires all trucks sold in California to be zero emission by 2045. The rule will advance the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent...

FERC to Examine Carbon Pricing in Wholesale Power Markets

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will convene a technical conference in September to consider state adoption of mechanisms to price carbon emissions in regions with commission-jurisdictional wholesale power markets, according to a June 24 notice. State-level activity on emission-trading programs and carbon pricing has been on the rise as more jurisdictions embrace policy goals to...

Wyoming Regulator Approves New Contract Term for PacifiCorp Under Federal Power Purchase Law

The Wyoming Public Service Commission approved a contract term of 15 years for Rocky Mountain Power’s power purchase contracts with independent electricity generators under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act 1978, or PURPA. The commission denied the company’s request to reduce the contract length to seven years, finding that there is no evidence that qualifying...

Nevada Proposes Vehicle Emission Standards to Advance Sustainability Goals

Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak on June 22 announced the Clean Cars Nevada initiative to consider the adoption of low- and zero-emission standards for light-duty vehicles. The program will help advance the state’s goal of reducing emissions by 28 percent by 2025 and 45 percent by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. Nevada would join 14 other...

FERC Approves Southwest Generation’s Acquisition of Mankato Energy Center

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 24 authorized a transaction allowing Denver-based Southwest Generation Operating Company LLC to acquire the 760-megawatt Mankato Energy Center, a natural gas power plant, from Xcel Energy Inc. Xcel Energy purchased the facility from Southern Power for $650 million in January through a non-regulated affiliate after Minnesota regulators rejected...